Stanley Cup Finals Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Florida Panthers Game 6 | 06/21/2024

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

They kept their promise, and the last home game of the season for the Edmonton Oilers will be loud. Here’s hoping it won’t be the last game for them at all just yet.

As great as Connor McDavid’s last two games were(and they really were), we all owe the other Connor an apology. The Oilers became the first team in NHL history to score the first goal shorthanded in back-to-back games of the Stanley Cup Finals. Brown had an assist and a goal to help etch that statistic in stone. It’s safe to say we forgive his regular season now. All the times he and Mattias Janmark couldn’t convert on breakaways or 2v1 rushes, those jokes are now being put to bed. However, this series ends; I hope they re-sign in Edmonton next season. Their work on the bottom 6 deserves to be brought back.

The team still belongs to McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, first and foremost. But the secondary players are also making huge contributions at the right time. Corey Perry finally scored his first goal of the Playoffs, and I know that came more from McDavid’s highlight reel assist that none of us have stopped rewatching. But I heard a clip of the ESPN broadcast for Game 5. Ray Ferraro brought up in his commentary on the goal that Darnell Nurse called Perry to jump on the ice instead of him to get the pass. A minor action that goes unnoticed on the scoresheet. Or even on McDavid’s first goal of the game, Warren Foegele created room for him to skate before taking his shot on the net. I felt Foegele disappeared for most of these Playoffs before Game 3 of the Final. But he’s now been a factor on 3 goals in the last 3 games. He’s improving his offensive output, too.

It’s not always how many goals you score, it’s when you score them. Edmonton is proving that more than ever in this postseason and in this Final. Playoff hockey is the ultimate team game and can’t be measured solely through individual stats. The Oilers are not just 1 or 2 guys like most people like to say; they are a team. Even Stuart Skinner, whose stats look terrible when he starts a series, but then trend upwards as it goes longer. They dragged the Panthers back to Alberta, now they look to drag them back to Florida. The keys to the game are…

Drai-Spell: Draisaitl has some injuries plaguing his production. Before Round 3, he Edmonton’s best player. Dylan Holloway and Kris Knoblauch have said during interviews that Leon does more on the ice than just put up points. But I still think 29 is due for his Stanley Cup Finals moment. He has to pretend that he’s still in the year 2022, playing against Calgary while skating on one good foot.

Patience: The Oilers have become more confident in keeping leads, but 2 of Florida’s goals on Tuesday night came from turnovers in their own zone. Draisaitl and Skinner tried clearing pucks to nobody, to no avail. They also got away with too many men at one point in the game. When/if you have a comfortable enough lead, you don’t have to rush a play or breakout to happen. The emphasis on avoiding unforced errors keeps growing and growing now.

What The Tkachuk?: Aside from the goal he scored in Game 5, we’ve yet to see Matthew Tkachuk make a bigger impact in this series. Were it not for McDavid’s empty-net goal, Tkachuk’s diving play to keep the puck out would’ve been the save of the series if his team managed to tie the game afterward.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Stephen Vani

Oilers fan in Toronto. Staying up past my bedtime for Western games since the mid 2000s.

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